Rodolfo Bellato made the best of his second chance.
After losing on Season 6 of the UFC’s Contender Series, Bellato (11-2) made a thunderous return to the UFC APEX in Tuesday’s main event, pummeling previously undefeated Murtaza Talha (6-1) to earn a second-round TKO stoppage and ink one of five UFC contracts awarded at the Las Vegas event.
A 27-year-old light heavyweight hailing from Brazil, Bellato battered his foe from inside the clinch, badly hurting Talha with an array of knees, elbows, and thudding uppercuts in a furious barrage that prompted referee Jason Herzog to step in at the 4:46 mark of Round 2.
“It’s my second time here, but it’s my dream. It’s my dream to be here,” Bellato said. “When I was a kid, I dreamed for this moment, and today, this contract, it’s a dream for me.”
In the co-main event, 30-year-old Brazilian bantamweight Victor Hugo (24-4) nearly tore off the leg of Eduardo Torres Caut (16-2) to earn a UFC contract.
Hugo blitzed Torres Caut with an assortment of leg submission attacks from the opening horn before finally securing what he wanted with a kneebar midway through the second round. Hugo jumped on Torres Caut’s right leg off a failed takedown attempt then cranked with all of his might until coaxing the fight-ending tapout at the 2:16 mark of Round 2.
Elsewhere on the night, former K-1 champion Magomed Gadzhiyasulov (8-0) outclassed Jose Daniel Medina (11-3) with a creative and precise striking assault to sweep the judges’ scorecards and claim a unanimous decision.
A 29-year-old light heavyweight fighting out of Bahrain, Gadzhiyasulov threw the kitchen sink at Medina, even landing an impromptu Showtime Kick with former UFC champion Anthony Pettis seated in attendance. In the end, all three judges saw the contest 30-27 in Gadzhiyasulov’s favor, however both fighters earned UFC contracts, as UFC CEO Dana White expressed admiration for Medina’s toughness.
In the opening bout of the evening, 27-year-old Brazilian welterweight Mauricio Ruffy (9-1) inked a UFC deal just one week after the birth of his son with a sensational come-from-behind victory over Raimond Magomedaliev (10-2), a training partner of Islam Makhachev.
After struggling to find his rhythm in the opening two rounds, Ruffy surged past his fading foe in the final frame, cracking Magomedaliev with an array of lunging punches from a wide stance, then taking his back off a failed takedown and barraging him with heavy strikes to secure a bloody TKO stoppage with just 15 seconds remaining in the bout.
- Rodolfo Bellato def. Murtaza Talha via TKO (strikes) at 4:46 of Round 2
- Victor Hugo def. Eduardo Torres Caut via submission (kneebar) at 2:16 of Round 2
- Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def. Jose Daniel Medina via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mauricio Ruffy def. Raimond Magomedaliev via TKO (punches) at 4:45 of Round 3